Thinking Thermal: RV Roof Vent Solution
July 26, 2011
Filed under Tech Tips
It seems no matter how carefully we plan our excursions, weather can affect the comfort zone inside our motorhomes. Most motorhomes can handle limited temperature extremes, but there are always a few areas that can use some improvement. One area that is often overlooked is the roof vent. Maybe it’s due to its small stature, assuming there’s not much that can be gained by making modifications to insulate against large swings in temperature.
For those of you who have stuffed pillows or other insulation into the roof vent trim — or even snapped on insulated material that covers the opening, there’s an alternative. Heng’s thermal vent lid is a replacement roof vent cap on steroids.
The thermal vent lid is similar in design to a double-paned window, using dual layers instead of only one that allows for a sealed air pocket between the layers.
The two layers are made of quality plastic and are void of any seams or welds that can compromise longevity. This proven method of insulation helps get the upper hand on heat loss when the furnace is on and keeps the heat out when the air conditioner is working. And it helps prevent condensation, which leads to annoying dripping, frame sweating and the formation of mold.
As with any standard roof vent, the installation of Heng’s thermal vent lid requires very little time and effort to make the exchange. The first step is to remove the screen and crank mechanism before safely climbing on the roof. Using a pair of needle-nose pliers, gently unwind one of the small metal coils retaining the roof vent. Now just slide the old vent lid out, swap in the new vent lid and twist the metal tab back into the original coiled shape again. Reassemble everything else in the reverse order and that’s it.
To test we replaced one of the two factory-installed roof vent caps with Heng’s insulated counterpart. Using an infrared temperature gun, we measured the temperature on the interior side of both caps, recording a 10-degree difference. While additional insulation support may still be needed in extreme temperatures, Heng’s thermal vent lids are certainly worth the few extra dollars, especially since they are more stout than the standard lids, which is a plus all by itself. They will fit Ventline, Elixir or Heng’s universal vents, and you can find them for $25 to $30 by surfing the Internet.